Judge postpones decision on motion to dismiss lawsuit against College
By William Schpero, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, January 10, 2008
Web Update, last updated on Jan 10 | 12:33 pm
NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. -- No decision was announced today following the hearing on the College's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Association of Alumni against the College. Grafton County Superior Court Judge Timothy Vaughn said he would take the matter "under advisement" and issue a decision shortly.
The hearing, which was attended by several alumni and members of the administration, including College President James Wright, dealt with the extent to which the 1891 Board of Trustees resolution -- which has long been a central component of the various briefs filed in this case -- is a legally binding contractual agreement the College must uphold.
Lawyers for the Association argued that the motion should be denied because of the need for a process of discovery, whereby information obtained by the College's counsel would be shared with the Association's lawyers, and vice-versa. The Association's lawyers contended that while they had access to the historical records available in the Rauner Special Collections library, the file there is incomplete, and more thorough research, including analysis by an "expert" historian, is necessary.
Even as tensions ran high, the hearing prompted the occasional lighthearted comment.
Richard Pepperman '87, a partner at the New York law firm Sullivan and Cromwell who argued the case for the College, closed his court address by invoking Daniel Webster, Class of 1801.
"Dartmouth is still a small College, but perhaps what this case shows is that there are some who love it too much," Pepperman said.